Cancer & Career: Returning to work
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Alexandria, VA for a work conference (hence this beautiful airport shot). I was far enough out from rads to only be generally tired at the end of the long days and not "come home crash" tired like I was when I first started working again.
Going back to work after active treatment was hard.
For one, people assume after you finish active treatment, you're back to normal. They have no idea during rads you needed a nap every two to four hours and the side effects of rads don't end when the treatment does. They have no idea that you've reserved a lot of energy being by yourself during the day for months and being social takes A LOT of energy.
On the other hand, as I'm trying to readjust and set new bars for my new self, I don't necessarily need them to know.
My first day back at work, I smiled, I laughed, I forgot most of my logins and when I came home, I cried.
I was exhausted beyond measure.
I did not know how I was going to make it through the rest of the week, but I did.
With the exception of a million doctor's appointments, I toughed it through the long days. I did crash within 30 minutes of getting home thanks to the understanding of my awesome husband, but I really worked at rebuilding my stamina.
Most importantly, I've been forced to recognize work/life balance. When it's time to clock out, it's time to clock out. I now spend time on Fridays determining what things need to be accomplished before I go home and what things need to be moved to next week's to-do list.
Nothing is left uncrossed on this week's to-do list.
It either carries over to next week's list or it gets done by Friday.
Having less time in the office because of frequent doctor's appointments means learning to use the time I have more wisely. Before my surgery, I would work from home to make up time spent at doctor's appointments. I don't have the energy to do that anymore, but that's actually not a bad thing when you think about.